Why Be Thankful for Public Broadcasting?
By Norm Silverstein ~ Posted Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:59pm
“The entire day is filled with beautiful music, thoughtful commentary, top-notch news programs and interviews. What's not to like?"
"I have lived all over the east coast and in the deep south. WXXI is the best! Having multiple options for TV and radio is fabulous"
"Can't live without you guys!"
These are just a few of the comments we received during our recent radio membership campaign. In addition to pledging their support, our listeners expressed their thanks for public media that puts community first. We especially received accolades for our election coverage. While other news sources presented endless political ads and polarizing news stories, WXXI was the home for civil discourse and balanced information about races locally, statewide and across the country. WXXI does not accept political ads and we never will. But that lack of revenue had to be made up somewhere, and our contributing members believed the value of public broadcasting was worthy of their support. In fact, it was the most successful radio campaign in the station’s history.
As we enter our winter television campaign, I hope that the same value is found there as well. While children’s programs on other stations are filled with ads for holiday toys and sugary snacks, WXXI provides 12 hours of commercial-free kids programming each weekday. While cable stations define science and exploration as Myth Busters and River Monsters, award-winning programs such as NOVA and Nature are the intelligent and engaging forerunners. And if you are looking for local documentaries, the only place you will find them is on WXXI as we present programs such as Restoring a Masterpiece: The Renovation of the Eastman Theatre, Midtown Memories and Benches on Parade – all within the next several weeks.
I believe that WXXI is among the most inclusive and supportive organizations in the region. In part, it’s because of our programming, but I think largely it’s because we don’t have any barriers. We provide programs and services free of charge to so many people. Regardless of income level, age or abilities, anyone can learn, grow and become informed about their world.
As you prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family, please accept our thanks for believing in WXXI and the power of public media. With continued membership support, WXXI will remain a community-driven asset for the Greater Rochester area.